Yes, you CANE

Oboe reeds are made from a plant — not bamboo — but a type of hollow cane called Arundo Donax.  Arundo Donax can grow from 20-30 feet high and reeds are made from the part of the plant that measures 10-11 mm in diameter — referred to as tube cane.

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Most American oboists use cane grown in France but we are beginning to see cane for making oboe reeds coming from Argentina and China too. Cane is also used for making clarinet, saxophone, bassoon and bagpipe reeds.

Arundo Donax is not native to the USA but it grows as an invasive and destructive plant throughout the southern part of the country.  It grows very quickly and can produce up to 25 tons per acre.  This cane, growing as a weed in the U.S., does not have the qualities needed to make good oboe reeds.

Handmade oboe reeds require a lot of work:  Split the tubes. Gouge the cane to the correct thickness.  Shape the cane to the correct dimensions. Tie the cane to an oboe staple with special nylon thread.  Scrape the cane with a sharp reed knife. Test and Play. 
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Fun Facts are compliments of SinginDog.com

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My Music Medicine

There were two comments made to me — about me — in the last year that I have been pleased to keep active in my memory:

1. “If I were stranded on a desert island, I’d want to be there with you.”   I knew what my colleague meant by the statement.  She had witnessed my broken aura.  She knew I’d find a way, a solution and anyone in my close proximity would benefit from my instinctive, inventive, inspirational ways to survive.   Another person I told about the complement, totally missed the mark — replying that I’d play my oboe to keep happy.   That’s not at all what the comment was about.

2. When you play oboe, I see a white glow around you.  You bring life to the notes.  This comment was especially impressive.

The Auric Field – Aura is life. It is the energy that animates our physical body. The auric field exists in different layers sometimes referred to as harmonics because of the color fields they emit. Each layer of the auric field is a body just as real and alive as the physical body. Each layer is a mini world with its own sense of purpose. The magic of the auric field is in how these mini worlds intertwine and dance with one another. These layers interconnect with one another determining our experience with our physical reality.”

Treatment Tunes

Musical Resonance

Music Therapy

I currently perform with the Sunbury City Band.  It doesn’t provide income — most of us professional musicians can’t survive on our highly skilled craft.   But band is part of my “music therapy”  — priceless reward of camaraderie.

L-R: Marti, Christina, Deanna, Marvin

L-R: Marti, Christina, Deanna, Marvin

My next therapeutic session will be providing music for others during a Sunday at Six program at All Saints Episcopal Church of Selinsgrove.  Second Sunday at Six (10/13/2013).   My mother (Mariam) will accompany me with piano on four pieces. One selection will be for unaccompanied oboe.

The proposed program is a mix of traditional folk music, standard ballads (instrumental version) and film theme.  Hope to see you there — if you’re in this country or county.

Office of One

Each day brings a new challenge for me as I determine where I will locate my portable office.

1. Will I work in my transitional space in which I was forced to take refuge after my multiple businesses were destroyed?

2. Should I locate a new eating establishment with WIFI and a suitable table for my laptop and papers?

3. Is the weather such that I can explore an outdoor space with a canopy of trees or gazebo?

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Of course this is not the typical issues a regular office worker has to deal with.  Many TV shows portray an exaggerated work environment of friendships and personality conflicts.

Lately, I find the best office space for me is OUTSIDE with the unknown ceiling height of the sky.  Research has shown that work spaces and areas with high ceilings are more conducive to creative thinking, productivity and problem solving — yet most companies confine workers to cubicles for fear an employee or student will get distracted.

Today I couldn’t set up in one of my standard locations due to a towering oak tree propelling acorns at rapid intervals — boing, bounce, plop, plunk — either on my papers or head. What I did find was and enchanting surrounding — nicer than the previous location.

ButterflyOffice

I update inventory for my website, write articles for the blog and plan for upcoming music programs and a potential replacement brick & mortar business.  I spend rainy/inclement days inside completing oboe repairs and sketching out new ideas.  Sunny/temperate days give me the greatest joy for work — outside with nature to accomplish the goals of the week.

My only concerns when working outside are rapidly changing temperature (too hot/cold), invasion of spiders, flies, mosquitoes AND rain, wind, darkness, too much light.   (hey, those sound like the same concerns during an outdoor music performance…)

Today, I had two visitors pass through my “office”:   a lady on her afternoon stroll and a stray calico cat on her afternoon prowl.  I sometimes have the pleasure of a ladybug, caterpillar, katydid and squirrels to check on my progress at work.

Katydid

Oh — office hours are ending shortly — the battery on the laptop is 20% power !    I still have time for pad and paper till “lights” dim for the evening shift.


OutdoorOffice

Caterpiller

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